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ISIS Afghan branch leader killed in US strike: Pentagon

The killing of Abu Sayed, the emir of Islamic State of Iraq and Syria — Khorasan Province (ISIS-K), marked the third time within a year that the terror group’s Afghanistan branch has lost its leader.

world Updated: Jul 15, 2017 13:26 IST
Press Trust of India, Washington
ISIS,Islamic State’s Afghanistan branch,US forces in Afghanistan
US soldiers patrol near the site of a US bombing during an operation against Islamic State militants in Afghanistan in April. The US has been hitting ISIS targets in the war-torn country regularly and in April it dropped the largest non- nuclear bomb it has ever used in combat.(AFP File Photo)

The US forces have killed the head of Islamic State’s Afghanistan branch in a strike on the terror group’s headquarters in Kunar Province, the Pentagon has said.

The killing of Abu Sayed, the emir of Islamic State of Iraq and Syria — Khorasan Province (ISIS-K), marked the third time within a year that the terror group’s Afghanistan branch has lost its leader.

“US forces killed Abu Sayed, the emir of Islamic State of Iraq and Syria — Khorasan Province (ISIS-K), in a strike on the group’s headquarters in Kunar Province, Afghanistan, on July 11,” Pentagon Spokesman Dana White has said.

The raid also killed other ISIS-K members and will significantly disrupt the terror group’s plans to expand its presence in Afghanistan, she said.

ISIS leaders chose Abu Sayed to lead the group after Afghan and US forces killed the previous ISIS-K leaders — Hafiz Sayed Khan in late July 2016, and Abdul Hasib, in late April of this year.

“Afghan and US forces launched a counter-ISIS-K offensive in early March, 2017, to drive fighters from Nangarhar and send a clear message to ISIS that there is no sanctuary for their fighters in Afghanistan,” White said.

General John Nicholson, who leads US forces-Afghanistan, said, “We will continue until they are annihilated. There is no safe haven for ISIS-K in Afghanistan.”

The US has been hitting ISIS targets in the war-torn country regularly and in April it dropped the largest non- nuclear bomb it has ever used in combat.

The deployment of the so-called Mother Of All Bombs (MOAB) killed at least 95 jihadists, according to reports.

First Published: Jul 15, 2017 13:25 IST